Nuclear tests in North Korea, radioactive materials on the black market, skyrocketing energy demands worldwide. How can America protect itself against nuclear threats while responding to global need for cleaner, safer energy? Can nuclear energy production be made secure, even in the hands of our enemies? What new technologies can be used to detect and trace declared and undeclared nuclear activities to guide our national response?

Challenged by the combined promise and threat of nuclear power, scientists at Washington State University are providing new knowledge for improving nuclear activity detection and energy production safeguards. Dr. Sue Clark leads a team of radioanalytical chemists who are designing new ways to dramatically speed the identification of radioactive materials and to advance safe and sustainable energy development.

An international leader in nuclear science and radiochemistry education, WSU is responding to our society’s most pressing concerns and preparing the next generation of scientists and professionals to meet our future energy and nuclear security needs.


Featuring: Sue Clark, Ph.D.

Sue B. Clark is the Westinghouse distinguished professor of chemistry at Washington State University. Her current research focuses on the environmental chemistry of plutonium and other actinides, the chemistry of high-level radioactive waste systems, and actinide separations. Her research efforts are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, Office of Environmental Management, Office of Nuclear Energy, and National Nuclear Security Administration. Professor Clark currently serves on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for DOE and on the National Research Council’s Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board. She is a consultant to Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, and an advisor to the editorial board of Radiochimica Acta.

Dr. Clark joined the WSU faculty as an assistant professor in 1996, and served as chair of the Chemistry Department from 2005 to 2007. She served as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs at WSU’s TriCities campus in 2008. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry from Florida State University. Before working at WSU, she was an assistant research ecologist at the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and senior scientist at Westinghouse Savannah River Company’s Savannah River Technology Center.